Water heaters are essential household appliances that you don’t tend to think about unless you need a new one and then it is VERY much something you think about. In this article I am going to go over is Bradford White a good water heater (TL:DR Yes) and two of the most popular brands, Bradford White and the more common Rheem. In this article, we will compare the features and benefits of these two brands to help you have the confidence to pull the trigger on exactly what you need.

Bradford White – If your ideal water heater is the one you don’t think about.

Image courtesy of bradfordwhite.com

If you ask a plumbing professional what the best brand is the most likely response is going to be, Bradford White. They are by far the most reputable manufacturer of residential, commercial, and industrial water heaters. A comparison you would probably be able to relate to Toyota. They might not be the cheapest option but, just like cars, it is only 5-10 years down the road that one is really going to stand out in quality vs another.

Here are some of the reasons why Bradford White is a good water heater and our top choice:


  • Hydrojet Total Performance System that helps reduce sediment buildup in the tank
  • Defender Safety System that prevents the ignition of flammable vapors outside the water heater
  • Energy Star certified, which ensures energy efficiency and lower operating costs. This is a standard feature nowadays but it is important to note you’re not giving up efficiency to gain that long-term reliability.

What We Like About Bradford White:

  • High-quality construction and materials
  • Durable and long-lasting performance
  • Excellent customer support and warranty options

What We Don’t Like About Bradford White:

  • Higher initial cost compared to other water heater brands
  • Limited availability in some regions (your going to need to go to a supply house to get one of these)
Durable and long-lasting performanceHigher initial cost compared to other brands
Efficient and energy-savingLimited availability in some regions
Excellent customer support and warranty options

Rheem: The “It’s not our recommendation but it will do in a pinch.” option

Rheem is probably the most common water heater brand. You can get them at your local orange store and they are going to make every size and type you can think of. One of their main advantages is you can goand pick one up today. Here’s what you need to know about Rheem:


  • Power vented design for higher efficiency and faster hot water delivery
  • Tankless water heaters for on-demand hot water
  • Corrosion-resistant materials that prolong the life of the water heater

What We Like About Rheem:

  • High energy efficiency, which translates to lower operating costs
  • Innovative technology, such as the Tankless Water Heater and EcoNet Smart Thermostats
  • Wide range of models and sizes are available

What We Don’t Like About Rheem:

  • Higher maintenance costs due to the corrosive effects of hot water
  • Lower build quality especially when compared to Bradford White
High energy efficiencyHigher maintenance costs
Innovative technologyLow build quality
Wide range of models and sizes are easily available

What to Look For When Buying a Water Heater:

When selecting a water heater, consider the following aspects:

  1. Capacity – Choose the appropriate size based on the number of people in your household and your hot water needs.
  2. Fuel type – Decide whether you need a gas or electric water heater this is going to be based on what you have now. Don’t go buy a fancy electric hybrid water heater if your house is equiped for gas and visa versa don’t go buy a gas if you already have a high amp electric circuit and no gas lines. It’s just not worth the cost of changing it.

Final Verdict

Overall, both Bradford White and Rheem make quality water heaters with innovative features and energy efficiency. However, when push comes to shove we do believe it’s worth skipping past the box store going down to your local friendly supply house, and picking up a Bradford White. Your wife is never going to thank you for it but three years from now when it’s still chugging away you can rest easy knowing she isn’t going to tell you over coffee in the morning “Honey, fix that water heater”.


Q: How long do Bradford White and Rheem water heaters last?
A: Bradford White water heaters have a lifespan of 10-15 years, while Rheem water heaters last between 8-12 years on average.

Q: Can I install a water heater myself?
A: It is recommended to have a professional plumber install your water heater to ensure safety and proper installation.

Q: What is the warranty for Bradford White and Rheem water heaters?
A: Bradford White offers a 6-year warranty for residential models and a 3-year warranty for commercial models.